An Inspirational Moment

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

I’m not a religious person, and you won’t hear me saying “It’s God’s will” or anything resembling it, but when deaths and layoffs happened at the same time I was in for a ride with the aftermath. It was like getting my slate wiped clean to start over again. I decided to embrace the changes, listen to my inner voice, and then unexpected things started to happen.

I’ve come to the conclusion that for the most part I don’t have control over my life. I may think that I do sometimes, but for the most part, life seems to be driving me. But before you say to yourself “Dan you’re so full of crap” let me tell you this, if someone would have told me that a series of events would result in me staying at home running the household while my wife goes back to school a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have believed it. But one thing lead to another and life guided me down the path that I’m now traveling. I suppose I could have fought the changes and tried to force some other kind of outcome, but I don’t think it would have lead to a better outcome. Staying at home washing kids cloths is a drag, but I also am able to do things that let me be creative, and to help others.

So how does railing about how politicians that are really Coneheads fit into the “help others” category? Sometime pointing out the lunacy of a situation makes people think about it. When we take a step back and think, then magic starts to happens. Sometimes the “Oh shit!” moment happens, and a realization that the world is a more messed up place than anyone could have ever imagine. At this point, we can either become alcoholics and drown out the world, or decide on how we can all by ourselves make some sort of positive difference. The way I started doing this was by doing a self assessment.

I took a good look at myself and wrote down what I really love to do, my passions, my strengths, and the things I’m obsessive about. Being obsessive about something is important to me because if I don’t have a drive to do something, then I’ll stop doing it. If something is too painful to do then I won’t do it well. If only I could use that excuse to get out of washing dishes, or changing the Guinea Pig cage. I’ll never admit to doing a good job of cleaning animal cages.

One day many years ago something clicked in my head and I decided I wanted to be a writer. I had atrocious spelling, and had to re-teach myself most of what I blew off in school. Years ago when I was in the military I took a couple of composition courses through University of Maryland that helped me get back on track, and then I started self-teaching myself how to write. Now I compulsively tap away at my computer to give myself personal enjoyment, and hopefully some of what I write may actually help someone. I put my passion for technology to work in other ways, by helping friends with their problems, and helping my veterans group by building them a web site. I’ve just started working on it, and will turn it loose on the world in the near future. Most of the members of this veterans group are technologically challenged, so by doing something that I enjoy and is relatively easy for me to do, I get to help this group reach out to help many more people. It’s not that hard to make a difference in our messed up world if you are doing something you love to do.

Going with the flow, not fighting things that I can’t control, and putting my heart and soul into the directions that seem natural are bringing me down the ever changing path in a way that I feel good about. I’m not sure about what’s around the corner, but I’m sure it will be an adventure. Hopefully there is a dish washing, cage cleaning robot in it, I can only hope.

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About the Author:

I'm a father first, and married to a wonderfully supportive spouse that works her butt off for our family every day. I'm also a writer, techno nerd, potter, and humorist. I always have more interests than I have time to explore. View My Profile

I'm an observer of the human condition, and a lifelong student. The day I stop learning, will be the day I fall over dead.
  • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

    Dan, with the way the world is going just now and the recession I think many people are going through life changing experiences, evolving and finding something new and resisting the temptation to just give in is a necessity at the moment for a lot of people.

    I bet the idea of being a writer has always been hidden somewhere inside you. Glad you let it out as you are extremely good at it.

    As I wrote in this blog post when life took a turn during one month, don’t let the bastards grind you down, and it sounds like you definitely haven’t. Good job.

    http://garrycrystal.blogspot.com/2011/04/lifes-parking-tickets-rip-them-up-and.html

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    • http://www.firkroy.blogspot.com/ Dan LaFollette

      Thanks Garry!
      I think that a lot of people are adjusting to new realities, and I think it’s natural to fall on the things that we absolutely do best. Maybe that’s the silver lining to all of this.
      The funny thing about the bastards, I think I’m getting more fed up with them as time goes on. I think a lot of people are getting fed up. The average person is content to let them have their way as long as they can make a living, but when they start squeezing them dry, then people get pissed off. Hopefully this will lead to something good :)

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  • http://tjlubrano.blogspot.com/ TJ Lubrano

    Dan, I love your writing and I’m so glad you had that ‘click’. I can relate to letting things go that aren’t giving me happiness. Something I wouldn’t dare to do awhile ago.

    Also I agree, you can’t control life, you can steer it into a certain direction, but you have to be flexible and go with the flow. If you want to control something too much, you’ll only be disappointed when things don’t go as planned. I find it so rewarding to being able to help people or spread a bit of sunshine in their lives with what I’m doing. It made a big difference in my own perspective of the world as well. Go for what you want and love in life :) It makes your own little world a better place right?

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    • http://www.firkroy.blogspot.com/ Dan LaFollette

      TJ, you have a wisdom that’s beyond your youth, it’s a rare thing. I think you are making a difference in a lot of people’s lives with your work, and sharing with the world.
      Thank you TJ :)

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      • http://tjlubrano.blogspot.com/ TJ Lubrano

        Goodness Dan, I am truly humbled by your comment. Thanks so so much *bows again* ^_^

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  • http://www.deanwalker.wordpress.com Dean Walker

    Excellent article, Dan. Extremely uplifting and a total joy to read. Write On!

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    • http://www.firkroy.blogspot.com/ Dan LaFollette

      Thanks Dean, I’m glad I could add a little lift and joy to your day. :)

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  • http://itsalwaysfriday.blogspot.com/ Bill Friday

    Dan,

    My moment came a little over 10 years ago, when sitting at my computer… at the front counter of my little Used Book store… as my business slowly died. I started writing a novel, based on how bad the experience of it all was.

    The novel sucked.

    But I kept writing.

    Now I, as you, am trying to make this “word thing” work. And I believe, like you, that it will. You never know when your moment will come. But when it does… don’t be full of crap! Jump on it, and ride it like you’re Bruce Campbell.

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    • http://www.firkroy.blogspot.com/ Dan LaFollette

      Hey Bill,

      Writing to me is like the ultimate challenge, something that never can be fully mastered, something that grows with you. One of the key things for me is to make sure that I write for myself and not try to please anyone else. If someone likes it fine, if they don’t then fine it’s not the point of doing it.
      Like any art form it’s the process of creation and the feeling of accomplishment. When you put a fork in it and declare it done, then it’s off to the challenge of the next thing. I think one of my challenges right now is getting my brain wrapped around a bigger project.
      But, the real key to all of this is not to fumble the words “Klaatu barada nikto” otherwise all hell breaks loose.

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  • http://www.tiredofpreviews.com Katy Kern

    Dan: I loved this article! I think when you are writer you should have that moment where you know its what you were born to do. It’s a calling, I believe. Mine came after major heart surgery a few years ago. After that experience my world was never the same. Honestly, I didn’t mind all that much because the writer in me was finally born. Nearly 3 years later I write almost every single day. Writing, to me, equals happiness and freedom. :-)

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    • http://www.firkroy.blogspot.com/ Dan LaFollette

      Thanks Katy!
      You have done a fantastic job with your total movie experience package. You have taken your calling to write, then melded your love of movies, and then you ran with it with determination. I think you’re one of the shining example of someone living their passion.
      I can’t wait to see where this all goes for you.

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  • http://sipsofjenandtonic.com Jen and Tonic

    I REALLY liked this post. I think I was born to write, but like you, it wasn’t until much later that everything came together for me. Now I can’t imagine not writing.

    My only goal when I first started writing was to become famous. That mindset changed once I joined that other site back in 2007. Suddenly I was surrounded by wonderfully talented and supportive writers, and felt like I had found home. My perspective has changed, and now success (to me) is connecting with others through my writing as well as through theirs. I’ve already achieved that. WINNING!

    You bring something unique to the table, and I’m so happy you decided to get in the trenches with the rest of us!

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  • http://www.momsarefrommars.com Janene

    I really love what you said here, Dan. I wonder how many people do a self-assessment? The wonderful thing about following your bliss is that it doesn’t always matter what kind of success awaits you in your journey.

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    • http://www.firkroy.blogspot.com/ Dan LaFollette

      Thanks Janene,
      I think that people get very caught up in the end result. What do I need to do to get to X, and don’t pay attention to the journey. The journey is really living life, doing fullfilling things in the now and experiencing it.
      Self assesment is really the key to packing your bag for the journey.

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